Friday, April 4, 2014

Review: "Porky's" is Still a Raunchy Classic (Remembering Bob Clark)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 16 (of 2014) by Leroy Douresseaux

Porky’s (1982)
Running time:  94 minutes (1 hour, 34 minutes)
PRODUCERS:  Don Carmody and Bob Clark
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Reginald H. Morris (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Stan Cole
COMPOSER:  Paul Zaza and Carl Zittrer


Starring:  Dan Monahan, Mark Herrier, Wyatt Knight, Roger Wilson, Cyril O’Reilly, Tony Ganios, Kaki Hunter, Kim Cattrall, Nancy Parsons, Scott Colomby, Boyd Gaines, Doug McGrath, Art Hindle, Wayne Maunder, Chuck Mitchell, and Alex Karras

The subject of this movie review is Porky’s, a 1982 Canadian-American sex comedy from writer-director Bob Clark.  The film is set in 1954 and focuses on a group of high school boys who try to help a buddy lose his virginity and end up seeking revenge on the sleazy owner of a honky tonk and his redneck sheriff brother.

Porky’s spawned a franchise, including two direct sequels.  The film won the Golden Reel Award at the 1983 Genie Awards and also received a “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” nomination for actor, Doug McGrath.  Porky’s was a surprise box office success and for decades was the highest-grossing Canadian film of all time.  It apparently still is, when adjusting for inflation.

Porky’s is set in Angel Beach, a small town in South Florida.  There, we find six teens that are desperate for sexual satisfaction.  These young, red-bloodied, American males, who play basketball for Angel Beach High School, have raging hormones and are horny for just about any female willing to do “it” with them.

The most desperate is Edward “Pee Wee” Morris (Dan Monahan), a short guy (in more ways than one), who wants desperately for a girl to relieve him of the burden of his virginity.  Pee Wee and friends hope to find sexual relief at a notorious honky-tonk joint in the next county, Porky’s.  However, the club’s owner, Porky (Chuck Mitchell) himself, rips them off and throws them out – even going so far as to seriously injury one of the teens who later seeks to get back at Porky.

So Pee Wee, Billy (Mark Herrier), Tommy (Wyatt Knight), and the rest of the gang plot an incredible revenge against Porky and his brother, the redneck Sheriff Wallace (Alex Karras).  Meanwhile, the boys’ adventures and activities earn them the unwanted attention of the foul-tempered girls’ gym teacher, Beulah Balbricker (Nancy Parsons).  Also, new junior basketball coach, Roy Brackett (Boyd Gaines), seduces sexy fellow gym instructor, Honeywell (Kim Cattrall), and makes a shocking discovery about how she acts during the heat of passion.

The late filmmaker Bob Clark is probably best known for his holiday movie classic, A Christmas Story (1983).  His infamous teen comedy, Porky’s, is also fondly remembered and apparently has influenced other filmmakers who have made teen films.

With Porky's, Clark, who died with his son in a 2007 car accident, took an unabashed and fanciful look at raucous high school adolescence in the 1950s.  However, the story has a timeless quality because of the truth at the heart of its idiocy:  sex weighs heavily on the minds of both high school boys and girls.  Porky’s can be pretty frank about that reality, but that is what makes this film both unique and unforgettable and difficult to duplicate – as its less successful sequels can attest.

Porky’s is silly, even a bit misogynistic, but I first saw it as a teenager and loved it.  Other than being a teenaged male, I had nothing in common with the characters, but I loved the film.  It is funny just to watch these high school kids’ antics – both guys and girls.

7 of 10

Friday, April 04, 2014

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